Smartphones with broken/cracked displays is probably one of the more common accidents that happen, although smartphone makers have been trying to make up for it by using glass that is sturdier and less prone to cracking. However despite their best attempts, cracks still happen, but that could change in the future thanks to researchers in Japan.
Developed by Professor Takuzo Aida and his team at the University of Japan, these researchers have developed a glass that can actually heal itself. The concept of glass healing itself isn’t exactly new, but this development does sound like it has quite a bit of promise. The substance created is called “polyether thiourea” and it features the hardness of glass, with the difference being that when pressed together and having pressure applied on it, after a new moments it will “heal” and will be like new again.
So far what we’ve seen in terms of self-healing materials is that for the most part, they can only heal superficial scratches, meaning that anything deeper and you can forget about it. From what we can tell about this “polyether thiourea”, it seems that it works with completely broken pieces, so in the event that your screen shatters into pieces, pressing it together will put it back.
This discovery came about when the researchers were attempting to develop a new type of adhesive. That being said, we’re not sure if there are plans to commercialize this material, but so far it looks pretty promising with a bunch of potential applications.